Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Wonder What My Best Birthday Was?

Hmmm. I wonder indeed.

I adore my birthday, because I love attention, and cake, and presents. But it comes at an awkward time, landing right at the end of summer. It also lands right when my military dad always would have to start his new orders, meaning right when we would have to move to a new place. We had my sixth birthday at a Virginia Beach McDonalds, because the house was already packed up and empty and we had to leave town for our new house in California that day. I was six, the age of living in the moment, so I had a great time, but I do remember waving to my friends and my babysitter out the back window as we left and not totally realizing that I would not be seeing them again.

I turned sixteen in a hotel room in California. All seven of us shared one room, because we had to stay there for three months until the people moved out of our house, and two hotel rooms was too expensive. I hadn't yet started my new school, so I didn't have friends yet, but my parents did their best with the situation. We had 99 cent Whoppers for dinner, and then a grocery store cake at the hotel. They gave me a shirt with a sunflower on it, and the Led Zeppelin boxed set.

My twenty first birthday was a quiet family dinner round the kitchen table and some roller blades. No mention was made of alcohol. I rolled my eyes internally about this, but there was nothing I could do!

My twenty fifth birthday was a bittersweet one. A handful of friends drove from all corners of the Midwest to meet me at a dance club, and I danced and drank and laughed, and then spent the night crying on my girlfriends' shoulder about having been dumped only a few months before. It was a turning point in my grief over those dead dreams, and I mark it as the day I really grew up.

When I turned twenty six, I threw a very lame party that no one came to except family. That was embarrassing.

Then things started looking up.

My twenty eighth birthday, Darlin' and I had a wedding shower, which meant I got almost no birthday presents but tons of wedding presents, and a present is a present, people! My twenty-ninth birthday, we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant where I told him we were having a baby and then got drunk on Sprites. For my thirtieth birthday, which falls on Labor Day this year, I was originally going to go visit Darlin' in Brazil and see for the first time the country that has claimed my husband so many months. Now he's coming to visit me instead, to see how much his little son has grown. I am fully expecting a party, by the way, dear.

So, looking back over my life, it would be hard to choose my best birthday. I'm going to say that my best birthday . . . is yet to come. Perhaps this year? Darlin'? Sass? What do we think, surprise party for Mama G?

1 comment:

MSO Rin said...

While in Vegas, I remarked to Wicked M that it was the first b-day of hers that we'd spent together in this century. And now, reading your wonder, I realize that I've NEVER EVER EVER spent your b-day with you. Travesty! But even if I'm not w/you this year either, I know you'll have the best present EVER and that you and Darlin' gave it to yourselves. :)

Then, 15 years later, try really hard to remember you felt that way.